Millions of people have drinks that contain caffeine to energise themselves. It is considered to stimulate and vitalise your system with relative ease. Owing to its energising properties, excessive intake is linked to sleep deprivation or other sleep-related disorders. As per one estimate, as high as 75% (or perhaps even more) of the world’s population are known to take a caffeine-based drink every day. But, how long do headaches triggered by withdrawal of caffeine is known to last? It is a good thing to know more on this.

Caffeine is known for being easily absorbed in your gut and thus finds its way into blood within shorter time-span.  Your liver processes this chemical into other substances and starts vitalising essential organs. Among other organs, your brain gets stimulated each time you take caffeine. So, what causes caffeine to vitalise your body? In usual circumstances, building up of adenosine makes you weary; this is the reason you tend to get sleepy as and when you are tired.

Caffeine has a few chemicals which inhibit the receptors of adenosine; once your brain blocks these receptors you are unlikely to feel tired or sleepy. As an added advantage, caffeine increases the level of adrenaline and also boosts the availability to norepinephrine, dopamine and a few such neuro-transmitting chemicals. The combined effect of these is your ability to remain focused and stay alert.

Withdrawal symptoms of caffeine

Intake of caffeine is widely regarded as a safe practice but it can be making you dependent on it. Yes, it can be habit-forming. On the flip side, caffeine causes a few side effects like sleeping difficulties, anxieties, being restless, involuntary shaking of your body, abnormal heartbeat, etc. Excessive intake of caffeine can often lead to increase in blood pressure level, spells of migraines / severe episodes of headaches.

Another noteworthy fact about caffeine is: it easily breaches the placenta and may hence carry risk of lesser weight at birth. At times, too much of caffeine has also led to miscarriage. Hence, women who are pregnant are advised to keep away from too much intake of caffeine. Also, caffeine may interact in an adverse fashion with a few antidepressants as well as muscle relaxants. So, if you are taking drugs such as luvox, zanaflex, etc., your treating doctor must be aware of such medication plans.

How long do headaches last when you withdraw caffeine?

Withdrawal signs such as migraines / headache can begin within 10 to 11 hours of discontinuing caffeine. These discomforts may achieve their peak level in between the 36th to 50st hours from the time of your last dose of caffeine. In most cases, discomforts are known to last for upto a week’s time or slightly more.

Safer intake of caffeine

Reputed agencies such as the European Food Safety Authority as well as the US-based department of agriculture have issued a few guidelines for the safer intake of caffeine. As per these guidelines, a daily consumption of upto 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine is regarded as a safe limit. This limit translates into 2 to 3 cups of coffee within a 24-hour timeline. Consumption of more than 500 mg of caffeine – as a single dosage – can be near-fatal or fatal.

In sum, talk to your dietitian about the safe level of caffeine intake. Apart from coffee, caffeine can be found in a few types of soda, chocolates as well as in energy drinks including tea. Also, stopping a long-term caffeine habit can lead to undesired side effects such as being irritated, fatigue or tiredness, mental conditions such as depression, etc.

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